Implementing a Growth Mindset in Family-Owned Companies

Family businesses start with the owner’s dream to achieve certain goals and aspirations. Our economy thrives largely due to family businesses. However, with time, founders may be reluctant to change and grow and tend to stay within the limits of the business where they are comfortable. This can create some bit of owner’s syndrome and can slow down the business or worse, lead to the fall of the business.

How can a family business embrace change and open up to growth? How can business owners and family members be educated on growth mindset and implement these lessons to their companies?

What is a growth mindset?

According to psychology researcher and scholar Dr. Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, a growth mindset creates in a person the openness and love for learning, as well as resilience through dedication and hard work to achieve something. A growth mindset when running a business shows that a person is open to ideas, learning from others, and putting in efforts to achieve the desired goal.

Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

Dr. Dweck goes on to show that those without a growth mindset tend to have a fixed mindset. This is whereby an individual believes that their abilities and talent are inherent and fixed. Such individuals are not open to learning under the assumption that you either have talent or ability or you don’t. In business, a fixed mindset can be detrimental since it will hinder the business’ ability to learn and grow.

For a family-owned business, it is a common belief and misconception that the owner has all the answers. Since the business is based on the owner’s dream and most likely talent, the belief carries on that the owner has all the answers applying to the business. Such a belief can hinder the growth of the business. This is because the belief does not take into consideration the changes taking place in the business environment such as technological changes and the preferences of customers.

How can we educate and implement a growth mindset in traditional family businesses?

Create self-awareness in leaders

A growth mindset comes with self-awareness. When you are self-aware, you understand that you, like every other person, have limitations. It is therefore alright to allow others to complement and supplement your skills and experiences. A self-aware business owner is conscious of the fact that even when the business is founded solely on their idea and dream, they do not possess all the answers. This kind of awareness shifts the mindset of the owner to that which is open to learning from others.

Encourage openness and desire to learn

A growth mindset fosters the desire to learn. Business owners need to recognize that there are many others differently talented and that they can learn from each other. For example, a founder who created a business a few decades ago needs to learn from others about new technology developments and how they can benefit the business. By opening up and learning from others, a business can benefit from new skill sets, adapt to changing business environments and achieve new heights of growth.

View ownership in a different light

A business owner with a growth mindset will remember that the privileges that come with ownership also bring responsibilities. It is your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that the business remains a going concern that is growing and profitable. This kind of understanding helps the business owner put aside their ego and open up to ideas that are good for the business.

Look at challenges as opportunities to grow

A fixed mindset business owner will seek challenges that make them look good. They are more concerned about showcasing their talents and abilities. They have the belief that they are as good as their success. A growth mindset on the other hand will seek challenges that are good for the business. They are little concerned about looking good but more concerned about putting in hard work in new endeavors and harvesting good results. Through constant hard work and putting in efforts on new challenges, they develop persistence, resilience, and motivation which are essential elements for welcoming change and business growth.

Foster a growth mindset within the organization

To encourage growth and success within the organizations, leaders need to foster a growth mindset in others. This means that praising people for their efforts, and not for their talent and skill encourages people to work harder. This creates a growth culture in which people will be open to change and lead to company growth.

Embrace making mistakes

When business owner is too concerned about looking back when they make mistakes, they are likely to shy away from new experiences and opportunities. A growth mindset helps one be open to making mistakes and learning from them. This encourages the spirit of learning something new and it is with this spirit that changes are brought into the business. New opportunities are not viewed as risks but opportunities to grow.

Conclusively, a growth mindset will open up the organization to new ideas, changes, and opportunities for growth. Even family businesses can achieve great heights once they embrace opportunities to learn and grow.

The Destiny Team